Thailand: biking through the mountains to Pai

The  day after the bungy jump we escaped the heat of the city by visiting a local hotel which had a rooftop pool.  We spent the afternoon just soaking in the pool and enjoying the views, before inexplicably I felt the need for a sauna!

The rooftop pool in a swanky hotel in Chiang Mai:

The quintessential Asian pose, performed here sub-aqua:

The Vietnamese girls Trang and Jessie, enjoying the pool:

Sunset over Chiang Mai:

That evening we took in an awesome Thai hot pot.  This consists: a clay bowl that contains red-hot coals, and atop a bowl of steaming water which you proceed to place chunks of meat and vegetables into.  It soon turns into a tasty broth:

Sam had a flight to catch to Malaysia so we said cheerio to him but just as he left we met another yank from Washington DC called Daniel.

The next day Daniel, Eric and I hired motorbikes to make the 150km trip to a popular small town called Pai.  Despite the girls being Vietnamese and therefore being born with tiny scooters attached to them, they didn’t fancy driving because Thai’s drive on the left (ridiculous excuse, I know ;)), so Daniel and I offered our back seats to them.  Eric had rented a 650cc Kawasaki Ninja for the ride so we didn’t think it would be responsible for him to have a passenger.

The journey was epic.  Starting on wide open roads with big sweeping bends to steep-sided mountain sides where there seemed to be endless hairpin curves.  The scenery was awesome, weather perfect and there was hardly any traffic on the road.  I really got into riding that scooter on the trip, I just can’t believe it took me 28 years to get on a motorbike!

A roadside sign celebrates the hugely popular Thai king as we enter the mountains:

The camera does it no justice but we had some awesome views over the tree-covered mountains:

Dan and Trang coming up the mountain:

This might drag on so feel free to skip it!

That’s right, This Guy is buzzing because he’s just rode through the awesome Thai mountains at a million miles an hour (well, anyway, it felt like it):

Once we arrived into the small hippy town of Pai we were hot, dusty and sweaty and desperately in need of a swim. We found a rather plush hotel with a pool and decided to get a couple of rooms there despite it being one of the more expensive options.  The rest of the afternoon we soaked in the pool and later went out for some awesome Thai grub.

They sent me to test this random bridge we found whilst trying to look for hotels.  I gallantly/foolishly accepted:

View from our hotel over the river, and yonder mountains:

Going from 40 degree heat to 30-odd degree water is pure bliss and feels like you are engulfed in silky warmness whilst also being thoroughly refreshed:

The next day we retraced our tracks back to Chiang Mai where I would be spending my last night before catching the overnight sleeping train down to bonkers Bangkok.

Eric races off on his super-powered bike.  We didn’t see him again for several hours:


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